This article originally appeared in the International Right of Way Association Sunshine Chapter No. 26 Florida in September 2021 and was written by Peter D. Waldman.
Don’t Sit on Your Butt – The Answers are in the Field!
It is important to fully understand the property and the parcels that you will be acquiring for a particular project. You can’t do that sitting in your office. You need to go to the field. Walk the project with the whole team and understand the properties from which you are acquiring parcels. This may seem archaic in the days of Google Earth and other such search engines. However, the old ways are still the best ways when you are doing certain things. Whereas Google Earth may be a starting point, it does not necessarily provide all of the answers. Google Earth will show you what a property looks like from various angles, but it does not tell you the whole story.
The whole story is how you view a particular property. How does it operate? When are the parking spaces used? What are the circulation patterns? What does development look like on the adjoining properties? These are important questions that need to be answered in regards to how the property functions and what will be the impacts from the right of way taking.
This may seem like a time consuming way to learn about the properties that you are going to acquire, but in the long run this extra time could result in a significant savings for your client. If you miss something and lose the taking, or have to redraft your legal descriptions and parcel sketches, that will potentially cost a lot more money than spending a day in the field getting to truly understand the properties from which you are acquiring parcels.
To read the original blog post in the International Right of Way Association Sunshine Chapter No. 26 Florida, click here.